When most of its contemporaries invested in heavy duty longlife vehicles, the last municipal in Kent switched to short-life lightweights. The man behind that decision, ALAN PRICE, argued that this was the best use of limited funds and explained his thinking to BUSES around three years before he died in January this year

Forty years ago, Maidstone Borough Transport broke with convention and replaced its double-deckers with a single-deck fleet made up mainly of lightweight Bedfords.

Some state-owned operators purchased Bedford or Ford lightweights then, mainly for rural routes, but their near wholesale adoption for urban operation, especially by a municipal, was highly unconventional. So also was the man behind the change.

In an era when most senior managers made their careers within the company or municipal sectors (and company men — they all were men then — worked their way up through the separate silos that were the BET, Tilling or Scottish bus groups), Alan John Price was one of few to cross that divide.

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